Shout Communications and MSD Animal Health used video, research and influencers to raise awareness of the danger posed by ticks. The campaign led to increased sales of Bravecto, the tick prevention product.
- To increase awareness and engage with veterinary professionals and dog owners, making them aware of the risk from ticks and tick-borne disease to them and their animals
- To drive more sales of Bravecto – a product for dogs which protects them from ticks, available only through veterinary practices – by an “ambitious” 50%
- To help grow the total market for veterinary, prescription-only medicine for licensed tick products
Strategy and implementation:
Amid concerns that the tick population in the UK is rising, with an associated rise in risk from tick-borne illness – such as Lyme disease – in both people and animals, MSD Animal Health began working with the University of Bristol to develop the Big Tick Project.
Shout! Communications’ involvement in promoting the story came half way through the 18-month long campaign – when an increase in momentum at the start of the 2016 “tick season” was required.
The peg for the story was to update the audience on the Big Tick Project, in anticipation of the results of the study, which are due in September 2016.
Broadcast content was crucial in reaching the target audience and we produced three different types of video in order to maximise coverage: a b-roll, an online video package to be sold into websites editorially and a video package to be sent to veterinary practises and played in their surgeries.
Shout! filmed in Essex where two cases of Babesiosis had been discovered. This is a potentially fatal tick-borne disease, rife in Europe but only previously seen in the UK in pets that had travelled abroad. Footage included Chris Packham, the TV presenter and campaign spokesperson, a tick expert from the University of Bristol, a case study of dog which had been infected by Babesiosis and an Essex vet who had recently diagnosed the first cases of Babesiosis in the UK.
The B-roll was distributed to national and regional broadcasters, the online video package was successfully placed on mainstream and specialist websites and a more tailored package, featuring Chris Packham talking directly to vets, went to surgeries throughout the UK.
Shout! established a radio studio at the University of Bristol which generated further interviews.
Coverage included: several opportunities on three national TV news programmes, three regional TV news bulletins, 24 radio stations including Radio 2, Radio 4’s Today programme, Sky Radio and Farming Today and eight websites used the video package including the Mail Online and the Express Online.
- 82% increase in Bravecto sales
- 44% increase in the total market for licensed tick products (ie veterinarian prescription only medicine, as verified by GFK research data, April 2016)
- A survey of veterinary practices taking part showed that participating vets voted the Big Tick project a resounding success, with 94% reporting their experience as being good or very good. Respondents revealed that altruistic reasons were their primary motivation for taking part, with ‘making a contribution to science’ and ‘obtaining regional data on the scale of the tick problem’, quoted by 96% and 90% respectively
- Led to an industry wide meeting on the risks of tick borne disease, due to take place in July 2016 to discuss the rising threat level, best course of action for the industry and potential recommendations to government
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